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IGF Case Study: Mine Closure Policies in South America

January 8, 2021

The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) has released a new publication that presents case studies on mine closure policies in South America, with a focus on Chile and Peru.

Successful mine closure policy requires early planning, consistent application (and enforcement) of legal requirements, adequate financial assurance through all stages of a mine’s life, and clear conditions for relinquishment or management of residual social and/or environmental risks.

Active closure planning is required throughout the mine-life cycle— beginning at the early conceptual stages of a project. It is essential that mine closure planning occur in conjunction mine planning, and that decisions in the early stages of development are made with the end in mind—in accordance with accepted sustainable development principles.

Latin American governments are moving away from relying on mining companies to follow best practices on mine closure toward developing national legislation to ensure compliance. This publication outlines what constitutes best practices in mine closure policies and describes how Chile and Peru are leading the way including national mine closure legislation that requires mining operations to provide financial assurance to cover closure liabilities.

The IGF supports more than 75 member nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared. It is devoted to optimizing the benefits of mining to achieve poverty reduction, inclusive growth, social development, and environmental stewardship. The International Institute for Sustainable Development has served as Secretariat for the IGF since October 2015. Core funding is provided by the Government of Canada.